Published Aug 25, 2020Most of the live music industry is pulling together and exploring ways to stay afloat during the pandemic, ranging from drive-in concerts to livestreams to socially distanced shows. Van Morrison, on the other hand, is going his own way: he's demanding an immediate return to full-capacity concerts.
In a statement posted to his website, Morrison claims that socially distanced gigs are "pseudo-science" — although he doesn't make even the slightest attempt to explain why, and he doesn't offer any alternate scientific findings. Rather, he simply says that these shows are "not economically viable."
The singer-songwriter and his band are playing a small handful of socially distanced gigs in the U.K. in early September. He clarifies that "this is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs," and writes, "We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward."
He cites Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber as an apparent ally in his campaign, and he asks members of the music industry to email his company Exile Productions. Perhaps he can get Smash Mouth on board with his medically inadvisable campaign.
Per the medical experts at the World Health Organization, "Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet)."
Read Morrison's letter below:
As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne's Gosforth Park, Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium. This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs, this is to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums. This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.
I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this.
Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and myself appear to be the only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again. Come forward.
It's not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs. Come forward now, the future is now.
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